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Order of the Phoenix

The movie version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix suffers from the same two problems that plagued Goblet of Fire: the inability to get even most of a huge book's events into a movie-length production, and the resulting genre change from fantasy mystery to fantasy thriller. Despite that, it's a very good film and I recommend it to anybody who enjoyed the previous movies.

Unfortunately, some of my favorite parts got the ax:

  • Most of the events in Dumbledore's office at the end of the story. I was particularly looking forward to seeing a particular pair of lines: "This pain is part of being human—" "Then I don't want to be human!" That moment, to me, makes the book, and would've made the movie.

  • Hermione being hurt in the DoM, and Harry's reaction to it. It's sorta-kinda implied by the way the DoM is filmed, but it's much less clear.

  • For that matter, most of the nifty random stuff in the DoM. In particular, there was no time room, so the movie canon will probably have a plot hole involving Time Turners that the books won't.

  • The original Dumbledore/Voldemort fight. In the book, it's very much a battle of wits, with each wizard turning the other's attacks back against him; in the movie it's more a battle of wills, and I think both characters suffer for it.

  • The full train wreck of Harry/Cho.

  • The visit to St. Mungo's (although they did find a way to grow Neville's character).

  • Kreacher's betrayal. Kreacher himself was present, so I assume this ended up on the cutting room floor.

  • Harry's career counseling.

  • A lot of great lines throughout. I only recognized a few of the best ones—the "emotional range of a teaspoon" line, the "come quietly" line (though not the rest of that incredibly awesome section), the "he's got style" line (in someone else's mouth), and the "it was foolish to come"/"by which time I will be gone" pair. But Dumbledore and Voldemort are such different characters in the movies that their lines seemed out of place.

They also continued fucking with the whole concept of how wizards fight. I'll be seriously irked if Harry can't turn into a flying wraith thingy by the end of movie-DH like all the minor characters can.

On the other hand, they did keep this movie efficient. The thing that bothered me the most about GOF was not that they cut so much; it's that they expanded the three Triwizard tasks so much when they could have used the time for omitted plot points. But there wasn't any of that in OOTP, so the cuts don't hurt as much.

Also, I loved how they dealt with the fact that so much of the plot is in public opinion and newspaper headlines. It's like a dynamic, updated version of the old spinning newspaper cliché.

Luna is simply fantastic; the promotional pictures, which always have her looking focused, don't do her portrayal justice. Oddly enough, she wasn't how I imagined her—I always imagined she'd have a more matter-of-fact tone when talking about all the stuff she believes in—but Evanna Lynch's portrayal is probably more true to the book's description than what I was thinking. They really found the perfect girl for the role.

Some particular scenes they included or added (IMHO, at the request of Rowling) might hint at events in book-DH:
  • They showed Ginny's overpowered magic. I suspect this'll be integral to DH. Dammit.

  • They didn't show catgirl!Hermione during the Occlumency lessons, but they did prominently include the hug from the beginning of the movie. H/Hr fans, time for a happy dance.

  • Even though they didn't include his betrayal, they did have Kreacher.

  • Tonks and Lupin were both around, though neither of them was named (that I remember). Tonks's Metamorphagus ability was shown, so I think that'll come up in DH as well.


( Read 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Originally, Kreacher was written out of the 5th movie. Rowling told the director and writers to PUT HIM BACK IN because he is apparently insanely important to the plot of the 7th book.

So he got a bit role.
Jul. 13th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
At this point I'm thinking that the only reason why Rowling seems to be pushing Ron/Hermoine is because Harry would be killed off (in that case) in DH.

I'm betting on Hagrid and Harry dying. Who's with me?
Jul. 13th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Hagrid's so totally dead. But I think Harry will survive.
Jul. 13th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
What, to offer Hermoine cookies and an offer to join the dark side?

(Apparently Umbridge comes back in the 7th book. I hope she dies too. Somehow. x.x)
Jul. 13th, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
I second the Umbridge comment.

... but I don't want Harry to die. I'm too much of a Harry/Hermione fan for that.

Or at the very least, Harry/Luna. Something.

Jul. 13th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
I fully expect to have a Pumpkin Pie Party next weekend.

Although I could just be delusional.
Jul. 14th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
I'll bring the dresses.
Jul. 14th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
You're exactly right concerning the primary fault of Goblet of Fire and this movie as well. Of course it's not going to be possible to condense an 800+ page book to a single movie without dropping some scenes. In Goblet of Fire they focused to much on the tasks and that resulted in the biggest loss of time. Here, they didn't focus too much on any one scene, but instead they almost rushed everything through. What I don't understand is why David Yates was determined that this be the shortest Harry Potter movie. He said he knew the length would upset fans but he felt the other films were too long. That's a fine feeling and all, but don't take the longest book in the series thus far and decide it has to turn into the shortest movie just because of a personal feeling.
/end rant

I also absolutely loved Luna. Evanna was the absolute perfect person for the part. She gave the Harry and Luna scenes such an odd and fascinating chemistry to them that I wouldn't mind seeing them together as a (albeit depressing) consolation prize.

In response to some of the other comments. Yep, Hagrid is toast unfortunately. We've been set up for that emotional loss from the beginning. Hopefully JKR didn't force R/Hr just because she knew she'd be killing off Harry. If Harry dies AND we're forced to deal with R/Hr, I might have to send hate-mail. *shudder*
Jul. 15th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Well, I'm also a Harry/Hermoine fan (Harry/Luna as consolation?) so that's really the only scenario that I can see in which Hermoine/Ron would be together.

Of course, that makes it sound like a bad fanfic. (Protagonist dies, girlfriend falls into despair and goes with the protagonist's best friend for comfort, etc.)

Random: Luna looked like a Ravenclaw. I don't have the book available for me to check; is Luna a 'claw?

Jul. 15th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
Yep, it sounds like a perfect plot for a horrible and unoriginal fanfic. So that's probably what we'll get. *mutter*

But after seeing OotP I'd absolutely take Harry/Luna as consolation. But part of me doesn't want to talk consolation until after DH is released. Then there's the cynical side that says I don't even want JKR to try and write an H/Hr ending because I'm not convinced she'd do it justice.

And you're right. Luna is a Ravenclaw and she did look the part even though there wasn't anything in the movie that confirmed it.
Jul. 15th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
I think that if she wrote HBP with H/Hr in mind, she'll have revealed all the horrible elements of it as a ploy, and thus earned back her reputation for brilliant writing.
Jul. 15th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
I don't know - I'm a bit mixed about her writing, myself. It's a bit hard to explain.
( Read 12 comments — Leave a comment )